Her Happy wedding

by Dan

“A stranger has sent a mysterious gift

the best man and bridesmaid cop off in the lift

Your uncle is drunk and a pain in the arse

And your mate shags a monk in a room swapping farce”.

No arse. Someone would complain. It was a family wedding.


Fuck. Cole Porter never had to write poems for the weddings of old friends from school he could barely remember. Did he?

For free.

It was too Pam Ayres, too Victoria Wood.

She’d burn all internal type rhymes if she could.

Shut up….Shut up….Shut up….

The tone is wrong, too cynical. Write it properly, write it happily, show them the love…. Except she didn’t love them, she just didn’t want to be left out and wouldn’t be invited otherwise.

“Oh Hannah’s brilliant with words!” Julie had said.

And because that was her thing, her distinguishing factor, a way of elucidating praise, Hannah had duly volunteered. Now she was regretting it. Why was she writing a poem for Sonia McAfferty anyway? With a stupid name like that she wouldn’t be out of place in a fucking Val Doonican song or as one of TS Elliot’s cats. She’d sat here so long she was now bloody pissed through no fault of her own. The empty wine bottle stared back at her quizzically.

Ok maybe just a bit of fault of her own. But the wine bottle had put her up to it.

Having wisely refused to bring the singer of Baker St into the already fraught situation she gave up on rhyming McAfferty and tried the married name to be, but that was even worse! Mrs Jens-Peter Durchenwald-Heissels barely fitted into an iambic line let alone suggesting anything lovely and witty for a poem. And teasing the name would just be cruel and sort of racist.

Not wanting to give away how little she could remember about Sonia, who she’d always suspected found her annoying, she’d begged Julie for clues. “Oh just school memories, that sort of thing!” her friend had prompted. Helpfully.

The only clear memory she’d had was that Sonia had been good at sport and had sneered at her once when she’d fallen off a Gym beam.

“You were a star at Gymnastics

Even though you were quite sarcastic!”

This was going very badly indeed.

Besides she hated the institution of marriage, she’d tried it once with disappointing results. Eventually she dropped off to sleep in her chair, still uselessly fretting.

She was the next morning woken by her phone. It was Julie, who told her they didn’t need her poem as they now had enough speeches from “real friends”. But she could still come to the wedding if she wished. Amidst her relief was a sense that she needed to be less needy for future. She felt her hungover head, said “No thanks I’m feeling a bit ill tbh,” went back to bed and spent the rest of the day writing a genuinely funny poem about her schooldays that made her feel a whole lot better about the escapade of life and prouder of the way she didn’t quite fit in.

The poem later won her a £200 prize in a competition.